Global entrepreneurs are increasingly expanding their businesses into the Baltic region for a variety of reasons.
As well as unrivaled access to European and Middle Eastern customers, the Baltic states also provide highly-skilled, multilingual, young professionals eager to work abroad.
Here you can find information on what it takes to open a company in the Baltic region.
What is the Baltic Regions?
The Baltic countries, Lithuania, Estonia, and Latvia have earned respect and admiration from their European neighbours and many countries worldwide because of their courageous adjustment policies, pro-business and pro-investment tax systems, and relatively low levels of corruption.
Known as the ‘Baltic Tigers’, these three countries offer many opportunities for foreign entrepreneurs thanks to their liberal policies and investment support.
As a key gateway for the development of business of all kinds, both regionally and globally, these three republics boast a privileged location, legal certainty, competitive prices, and easy bureaucratic procedures.
Lithuania, Estonia, and Latvia are three countries that differ significantly despite their geographic proximity and foreign perception that they are homogeneous. Baltic languages are spoken in Lithuania, Latvia, and Estonia, while Finland’s culture and idioms are more similar to Estonia’s.
So what does it take to open a country within one of the Baltic Tigers?
Business in Lithuania
All registration documents in Lithuania must go through the Register of Legal Entities, which has a permanent legal address for each company.
In the registry, you can search for a legal address, look up a name, and check for uniqueness and location. You then have to make a choice regarding the type of organisation to register your business with. You can reserve a temporary company name if necessary.
Get confirmation of the electronic signature after signing the articles of association and the founding agreement at a national notary’s office. Register for an electronic money institution license in Lithuania for EMI-specific payments made to and from your business. Or open a Lithuanian bank account for your company and transfer any capital, if necessary.
Lithuanian company registration documents:
- The address of the place where you live in your native country
- Contact details
- Owner’s and director’s passports
Business in Estonia
First things first. Check whether the name you want is available before naming your business. If you don’t have an Estonian address, you can get one from a business service provider.
The state registration fee for online applications is approximately €300. You should register your employees in the employment register of the Tax and Customs Board.
The Register of Economic Activities’ website provides information on the areas of activity and electronic registration.
The company should register as a VAT payer on the Tax and Customs Board’s website if necessary.
Verifying identity and business documents can be conducted remotely online or at the state notary office. The first step in conducting an act via remote authentication is to contact a notary’s office for advice.
Additionally, with a digital identity card issued by the Republic of Estonia, a representative abroad can be authorised to visit an Estonian notary for remote authentication.
Ensure that all your company’s documents are in order and you are registered with the tax office and the social security fund.
Open an Estonian bank account for your company and transfer any capital, if necessary.
Estonian company registration documents:
- E-Residency card
- Digital ID
- ID card issued by the Republic of Estonia
- Mobile ID
Business in Latvia
All documents submitted to the Latvian Enterprise Register must be in Latvian. For this reason, you will likely need the services of a law firm or accounting firm specialising in company registration.
Different legal forms of business registration are available based on the type of business you want to open. A limited liability company is usually the best option.
Commercial activities in Latvia are regulated by Latvian Commercial Law, so you need to register the company with the Latvian Enterprise Register and open a bank account in the company’s name after registration. A VAT number is likely to be required as well.
An address is required for every company registered in Latvia, just as it is for most other countries. Legal addresses in Latvia can only be used with the owner’s consent.
Sworn notaries should approve signatures on registration documents. If you wish to sign a document in person, you can come to Latvia or have it notarized in Russia.
There are small differences between opening a business in either of the three Baltic regions. If you’re interested in doing so, then expect a warm welcome from investors and business owners alike who will most likely offer their support and enthusiasm for growing domestic consumption.